PRINT October 1965

An Interview with Helen Frankenthaler

How did you first get into painting?

When I was fifteen I started going to the Museum (of Modern Art) and a couple of galleries, mostly because of Tamayo, because he was teaching at my high school, Dalton. He was my first friend who was a painter. The first gallery I went into was the one in which he showed (Valentine Dudensing). In my early teens, it was my sister Marge who took me around the Museum; she took me to see Dali’s melting watches. It was the first time I really looked and I was astonished.

By the time I got to Bennington (March, 1946), I was quite involved in painting because of Tamayo. I had stayed in New York a term after high school—I was sixteen—I stayed in New York to paint with Tamayo. He taught me how to paint—Tamayos. He taught me how to stretch a canvas, mix mediums. I still have my pictures in his colors, blues, ochres, watermelon reds. I didn’t know he derived from

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